Teacher Registration Guidelines

Guidelines and requirements to registering as a member of Yoga New Zealand

The popularity of yoga within the New Zealand community has grown significantly in recent years. In line with this growth, there has been an increase in the availability of yoga teacher training courses. These courses range in duration from a few weeks intensive to four years part-time and are usually run face-to-face, but sometimes also by distance learning. There is great disparity in duration between teacher training courses, from less than 100 hours to more than 1000 hours, with varying degrees of face-to-face contact.

Yoga New Zealand is the peak national body for registration and representation of yoga teachers from all traditions and styles of yoga, independent from any one teacher-training provider. Yoga New Zealand has an important role in guiding the national direction of yoga teaching in New Zealand. As such, we have a responsibility to set standards for membership with care in order to protect both the public and the tradition of yoga. For the public, it is important to ensure that consumers trust that yoga teachers registered with Yoga New Zealand have at least a level of training and experience considered to be a reasonable minimum standard by their peers.

Yoga New Zealand believes that the minimum amount of time required for integration of the philosophy and techniques of yoga into a new teacher’s life is 12 months, whether the training undertaken is full-time, part-time or by distance learning. Yoga New Zealand also maintains a requirement of more than 350 hours yoga teacher training to become a full registered member of the association, a total which is then further broken down into specific hours required for each of its essential curriculum components. A minimum number of contact (face-to-face) hours is also required. In the case of distance learning courses, where face-to-face contact is limited, compensatory mentoring components must also be included.

We now also provide a provisional membership which will enable graduates of shorter 200-hour courses, many of which have been recognised by overseas organisations, to also join Yoga New Zealand whilst working to upgrade their training to the full membership standard. This change ensures that Yoga New Zealand remains relevant to the profession it represents, and in a position to ensure maintenance of its influence on the future standards and direction of yoga teaching in New Zealand.

All Yoga New Zealand members (other than Associate members) enjoy the full privileges of the association – they may vote, be elected to the committee, and as registered teachers, be included on the Yoga New Zealand website referral service.

Benefits of membership are described in more detail on the Yoga New Zealand website, but include:

> Advocacy for yoga and New Zealand yoga teachers to the government, health insurance funds, media and wider community.

> Representation by, and support from, a professional national association.

> Well-packaged insurance options for yoga teaching, with cover for multiple modalities.

> Discounts on workshops, seminars and conferences organised by Yoga New Zealand.

> Access to first aid and cardio pulmonary resuscitation updates (CPR) via their state committees.

> Regular state-based networking opportunities with other yoga teachers.

> The quarterly “Yoga Today” magazine.

> Access to the “Yoga Classifieds” on the Yoga New Zealand website.

> Access to the “Calendar of Events” on the Yoga New Zealand website hyperlink.

> A regular monthly newsletter with the latest news, events and training opportunities.

> Use of the Yoga New Zealand member logo subject to the guidelines for use.

Further, a member who is a Yoga New Zealand Registered Teacher also benefits from:

> Our “Find a Registered Teacher” website referral service to assist prospective students to find you.

>  Promotion as a Registered Teacher, by the association in its communication with agencies and organisations such as health insurance funds.

> National and international recognition as a Registered Teacher.

Importantly, Yoga New Zealand members support the work of the association to further the cause of yoga as a professional discipline, promoting yoga to the public and supporting yoga-teaching standards in New Zealand.

Yoga New Zealand now provides five categories of membership:

> A 200-hours of training “Provisional” category of membership.

> Associate membership for non-teaching members.

> Full membership (Registered Level 1 Teacher) i.e. 350 hours training.

> Full membership (Registered Level 2 Teacher) i.e. intermediate, 500 hours training and 5 years/500 hours teaching.

> Full membership (Registered Senior Teacher) i.e. senior, 1000 hours training and
10 years/1000 hours teaching.

Provisional membership

The Yoga New Zealand Provisional membership category is equivalent to the Yoga Alliance RYT200® standard and provides recognition in line with common overseas minimum requirements. Teachers with 200 hours training in the required curriculum areas are able to obtain Provisional membership with Yoga New Zealand, on condition that they continue their training to reach 350 hours of training (and therefore Full membership of the association) within a period of three years. Provisional members are able to teach yoga and qualify for yoga teaching public liability and professional risk insurance.

New Provisional members who have spent less than 12 months training to become a yoga teacher are also required to enter into a mentoring agreement with a more senior recognised teacher to bring the length of time spent under supervision up to 12 months. (Please see the Mentoring Guidelines document on the Yoga New Zealand website for further information).

Full membership (Registered Level 1, 2 and Senior Teacher)

Teachers with at least 350 hours training in the required curriculum areas are able to join Yoga New Zealand as Full members (Registered Level 1 Teacher). Please note: A mentoring agreement is required if the time spent in teacher training is less than 12 months.

Registered Level 2 Teacher (Intermediate) and Registered Senior Teacher membership levels also involve further training. Level 2 (Intermediate) membership requires 500 hours of training (equivalent to the Yoga Alliance RYT500® standard). Registered Senior Teacher membership requires 1000 hours of training.

The definition of what constitutes as appropriate training hours for the purposes of increasing levels of membership is the same as the definition and application of CPD described in the Continuing Professional Development (CPD) document available on the Yoga New Zealand website. In simple terms, this refers to further training in yoga teaching. Such training is broken down into training that is core to yoga teaching, and training related to yoga teaching, and into contact (face-to-face) or non-contact training, with some activities earning more points than others.

Minimum hours of training in specific curriculum areas continue to apply to all levels of membership, to ensure that teachers have received sufficient training in essential components of yoga, such as yogic physiology, anatomy and physiology and teaching techniques. See the Curriculum Table later in this document for further information.

Special Entry membership

Special Entry membership allows for the fact that traditional training in yoga (often undertaken in a guru-disciple relationship) may have been informal and not certified, therefore not easily demonstrated. This membership category is especially relevant to teachers who gained their training and experience in the years before certification of teacher training became the accepted norm.

If you feel that Special Entry applies to you, please be aware that you will need to provide a detailed explanation of your reasons for applying for Special Entry and sufficient documentation to demonstrate the extent of your training and experience. Information regarding documentation required is available in the Application for Membership form. Requests for Special Entry are considered by the Committee of Management on a case-by-case basis.

Associate membership

Associate membership is available for:

> People training to become yoga teachers (not yet teaching).

> Yoga teachers who are no longer teaching.

> Other people who wish to support the work of the Association.

As non-teaching members, Associates are not entitled to yoga teaching public liability or professional risk insurance.

Associate members do not have voting rights, i.e. they cannot vote at Yoga New Zealand meetings and cannot be elected to the Committee. They can however, have input into debates or other processes on which votes are cast, and may be invited to serve on working parties established by the Committee.

Associate members details are not listed on the Yoga New Zealand website.

All Yoga New Zealand members are required to:

> Abide by the rules of Yoga New Zealand (available on the Yoga New Zealand website)

> Abide by the Yoga New Zealand Code of Professional Practice and Statement of Ethics (available on the Yoga New Zealand website)

Further, to maintain their status as a Registered Teacher, members are also required to:

> Maintain current first aid and CPR certification being Provide First Aid or equivalent.
Currently, first aid has to be updated every three years.

> Engage in and provide evidence of CPD.

All Yoga New Zealand members (other than Associate members) must earn at least 12 CPD points each year of membership to continue to be listed as a Registered Yoga Teacher. Evidence of CPD undertaken is to be provided each year at the time of renewal. The CPD Policy and Forms document on the Yoga New Zealand website provides more details of this requirement. Training undertaken as CPD can also count towards increasing levels of membership – therefore, teachers are advised to keep good records of all training undertaken, along with records of actual teaching experience gained.

Members choosing not to complete the required CPD points can remain as members with Yoga New Zealand; however, they will not be listed as a Registered Yoga Teacher.

Teacher training hours required to increase your level of membership within Yoga New Zealand should be acquired within the categories specified for member CPD i.e. through workshops, seminars, conferences, retreats, or, at half value, through correspondence/online courses, program development, research, authoring, etc. For further information on these categories see the Yoga New Zealand CPD Policy.

For example, increasing your membership level from Registered Level 1 Teacher to Registered Level 2 Teacher requires the accumulation of an additional 150 training hours. These hours can be earned over a number of years as well as the required increase in hours of teaching, and number of years of teaching.

To apply for an upgrade of membership level, you should complete the Application for Upgrade form and return it to the Yoga New Zealand office, attaching:

> Evidence of the number of years of professional teaching.

> An estimate of total teaching hours.

> Evidence of additional training undertaken to bring you to the requirements of the more senior level. (In doing this, attention should be paid to establishing that the required minimum training hours have been reached for each criterion within the Curriculum Table.)

Mentoring (both being a mentor and being mentored) is to be encouraged at all levels of seniority in yoga teaching. Mentoring has been part of yoga for thousands of years, with teachers handing down knowledge to students on a one-to-one basis. Ongoing mentoring is not a formal requirement of association membership, but we encourage teachers at all levels of membership to see both mentoring and being mentored as a desirable and important part of ongoing personal and professional development in yoga. (See the Mentoring Guidelines on the Yoga New Zealand website for more information.)

Children’s Yoga Teacher Registration

Qualified yoga teachers (Yoga New Zealand Registered Level 1 or greater) with a ‘Working with Children/Vulnerable People’ card and who have completed the required post-graduate training to teach yoga to children are eligible to register as a Children’s Yoga Teacher.

Registered Teachers who have completed a minimum of 50 hours of Teaching Yoga to Children Training can apply to become a Yoga New Zealand Registered Children’s Yoga Teacher. Minimum hours of training in specific curriculum areas will apply. Please refer to the Teaching Yoga To Children Post-Graduate Course Guidelines on the Yoga New Zealand website for the curriculum requirements.

Yoga Therapist Registration

Yoga therapy is the process of empowering individuals to progress toward improved health and wellbeing through the application of the teachings and practices of yoga. The practice of yoga therapy requires specialised training and skill development to support the relationship between the client/student and therapist and to effect positive change for the individual.

To register as a Yoga Therapist with Yoga New Zealand, you will require a minimum of Yoga New Zealand Level 1 registration, teaching experience of at least two years and at least 300 hours of regular yoga teaching, and a minimum of two years of regular practice as well as completing a specific Yoga Therapy training course which has its own training requirements. For a comprehensive overview of Yoga Therapy training requirements, refer Yoga Therapists Education Standards on the Yoga New Zealand website.


Curriculum Guideline


Provisional member

Full member (Registered Level 1 Teacher)

Intermediate member (Registered Level 2 Teacher)

Senior member (Registered Senior Teacher)

Teacher Training

Minimum hours of yoga specific teacher training required for entry to each membership level. This can include further training after becoming a yoga teacher.

200 hours

350 hours

500 hours

1000 hours

Personal Practice

Minimum years of personal yoga practice, with commitment to ongoing professional development.

1 year

2 years

5 years

12 years

Professional Teaching

Total minimum years and minimum hours of professional yoga teaching.



5 years and 500 hours teaching.

10 years and 1000 hours teaching.


Mentoring involves undertaking regular (at least once weekly) supervised training in yoga teaching with a more senior teacher and can be structured in a way to best suit both you and your mentor, e.g. teaching as a trainee teacher under supervision or assisting the teacher in class.

If the length of time you spent training to become a yoga teacher was less than one year, mentoring is required. (*see note below)

If the length of time you spent training to become a yoga teacher was less than one year, mentoring is required. (*see note below)

Ongoing mentoring (both as a mentor and mentee) is recommended.

Ongoing mentoring (both as a mentor and mentee) is recommended.

Special Conditions

Conditions relevant to membership level.

Provisional on qualifying for Full membership (Level 1) within 3 years. (*see note below)




Anatomy and Physiology

Study of the anatomy and functional physiology of bodily systems.

30 hours
Minimum 5 hours must be spent applying A&P to yoga teaching.

30 hours
Minimum 5 hours must be spent applying A&P to yoga teaching.

50 hours
Minimum 10 hours must be spent applying A&P to yoga teaching.

90 hours
Minimum 20 hours must be spent applying A&P to yoga teaching.

Yogic Physiology

Study of subtle yogic physiology and energy fields, such as: nadis, koshas, chakras, gunas. etc. (study of Ayurveda not counted)

Minimum 5 hours must be spent on yogic physiology.

20 hours

30 hours

50 hours

Philosophy, Ethics and Lifestyle

Study of the yogic philosophies and yoga educational texts, ethics for yoga teachers, yoga lifestyle. At least the following must be included:

> Yoga Sutras of Patanjali

> Hatha Yoga Pradipika

> Bhagavad Gita

30 hours

Minimum 20 hours philosophy and 2 hours ethics

50 hours

Minimum 30 hours philosophy

70 hours

Minimum 50 hours philosophy

100 hours

Minimum 80 hours philosophy


Theory and practice of yoga techniques in traditional areas of yoga study. Yoga techniques such as: asana, pranayama, meditation, bandha, mudras, kriyas, shatkarma, etc, relaxation, chanting, and other traditional yoga techniques. Substantial emphasis must be given to both the theory and guided practice of, in a dedicated teacher training environment.

100 hours

Asana 20

Pranayama 20

Meditation 20
At least 5 hours of Bandha and Mudra must be included in the Asana and Pranayama above.

150 hours

Asana 30

Pranayama 30

Meditation 30
At least 5 hours of Bandha and Mudra must be included in the Asana and Pranayama above.

200 hours
Minimums as for Level 1

300 hours
Minimums as for Level 1

Teaching Methodology

Study and practice of teaching methodologies such as: principles of demonstration, observation, communication, assistance, correction, adjustments, instruction, teaching styles, learning styles, etc.

30 hours, of which at least 10 hours must be specific to the teaching of yoga.
Business skills cannot be counted here.

30 hours, of which at least 20 hours must be specific to the teaching of yoga.
Business skills cannot be counted here.

50 hours, of which at least 20 hours must be specific to the teaching of yoga.
Business skills cannot be counted here.

90 hours, of which at least 40 hours must be specific to the teaching of yoga.
Business skills cannot be counted here.

Integrative Practice and Teaching


Such as: supervised teaching practice, observation of teaching, assistance in classes taught by a qualified teacher, receiving and giving feedback. This includes professional on-going mentoring and supervision under a more senior teacher.

10 hours

40 hours

50 hours

70 hours

Remaining Hours/

May be distributed among the categories above or in an area of specialisation such as: therapeutic use of asana, pranayama, relaxation, meditation, cleansing practices, yoga for special needs groups such as children, pre/post natal, etc.


30 hours

50 hours

Suggested 30 to 50 hours per modality of specialisation.

300 hours

Suggested 30 to 50 hours per modality of specialisation.

Overall Contact Hours


70% contact hours across all levels of membership and curriculum categories. (see note below)


Total Hours


200 hours

350 hours

500 hours

1000 hours

Contact hours

A guideline of 65 per cent contact hours for training applies across all levels and curriculum areas of Yoga New Zealand membership. However, applications are assessed on a case-by-case basis and may fall outside this guideline if approved by the National Management Committee. For example, some recognised distance learning courses may, by necessity, have lower contact hours, but such courses will usually have substantial documented mentoring and home learning requirements.